New Providence, NJ – August 24, 2010 – Bowker released its much-anticipated 2009 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Report today, providing the U.S. book industry with the most complete consumer-based research on who buys books and why. The 2009 Annual Report is culled from more 44,000 total respondents, responsible for the purchase of 118,000 books in 2009.

Like its groundbreaking predecessor, the 2009 Report includes in-depth book data, demographics, psychographics and genre category breakdowns. This year’s report provides data not available in any other source with a scope that captures the changing nature of retail channels, including the growing presence of such mass merchandisers as Wal-Mart. Further, the report captures the explosion of new electronic formats.

“With the exponential growth of e-books, the continuously shifting channels and buying patterns of consumers, and the need to effectively micro-market to readers through social networks, Bowker’s PubTrack Consumer is fast becoming an indispensable tool for today’s publishing industry,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publisher services for Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information management solutions. “While traditional POS data is still valuable – having a more complete view of today’s book buyer is essential to thriving in an industry that’s as fast-paced as ours. We are glad to be providing consumer data through this timely publication.”

Written and produced in conjunction with industry leader Publisher’s Weekly, the Annual Report expands this year with exploration into quarterly trends, in-depth analysis on digital books and virtual “bookshelves” that facilitate understanding of consumer buying behavior. Clear, colorful tables and graphs make data easy to understand and readable. The content also includes Bowker’s 2009 book production statistics, which revealed the stunning growth of “print on demand” and provide a useful benchmark for the number of new titles – and their genre breakdowns — produced in the U.S.

However, it’s the demographics of book buyers that make the Report an essential read for any book industry maven. The report reveals income levels, age, generation and more. For example,

  • More than 40% of Americans over the age of 13 purchased a book in 2009 and the average age of the American book buyer is 42.

  • Women lead men in overall purchases, contributing 64% of sales. Even among detective and thriller genres, women top 60% of the sales. Where do men catch up? Fantasy titles are purchased evenly by men and women.

  • Baby Boomers spend. The boomer generation is the largest purchasing generation, making up 30% of sales. Their elders – Matures – contribute 16%.

  • More income doesn’t mean more book purchases. 32% of the books purchased in 2009 were from households earning less than $35,000 annual and 20% of those sales were for children’s books.

  • Americans like people. The biggest selling non-fiction genre is biography – auto and otherwise.

The report is available now by visiting www.bookconsumer.comor ordering online here

Pricing starts at $999 for a single-use PDF or print copy. Members of the news media can purchase at a 30% discount. Print copies are being manufactured on demand by Ingram’s Lightning Source, the global leader in print on demand book manufacturing and distribution.

PubTrack Consumer, a service of Bowker, is the publishing industry’s premier resource for understanding consumer book buying behavior. Data are derived from a nationally representative panel of U.S adult men, women and teens that complete weekly online surveys about their book purchase behavior.

About Bowker
Bowker is the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. The company is focused on developing various tools and products that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, as well as providing services to publishers that help them better understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker is a member of the ProQuest family of companies and is headquartered in New Providence, N.J., with additional operations in England and Australia. For more information, please visit